Minnesota Hospital Association


March 03, 2014

MHA Newsline

In this issue

National Patient Safety Week recognizes hospitals’ commitment to safe care

This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week, a time to educate and increase awareness of patient safety activities throughout the health care continuum. Hospitals across the state are holding activities that highlight the theme and their year-round commitment, Navigate Your Health … Safely. MHA encourages you to find ways to engage patients and their families to be active participants in their care and champions for safety. Hospitals should promote this celebration and your good work to keep patients safe through events, social media and stories in your local media and on your website.  

We are asking that you share with us your plans to celebrate this week as well as any patient safety milestones or new initiatives that you’re working on so we can amplify your work statewide. For more information, visit the National Patient Safety Week websitereturn to top  

Sens. Klobuchar and Franken sign on to remove the 96-hour physician certification requirement for CAHs

Last week, U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced S. 2037, the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Relief Act of 2014, to remove the 96-hour physician certification requirement as a condition of payment for critical access hospitals (CAHs).  

Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D) and Al Franken (D) are among 14 original co-sponsors of the bill.  

Under the current requirement, physicians at CAHs must certify at the time of admission that a Medicare beneficiary is expected to be discharged or transferred to another hospital within 96 hours of admission as a condition of payment. If something unforeseen occurs and the beneficiary needs to stay longer than 96 hours, the physician must certify and document the changed circumstances in order to still meet the condition of payment.  

There is a separate and distinct condition of participation that requires CAHs to provide acute inpatient care for a period that does not exceed, on an annual average basis, 96 hours per patient. S. 2037 does not impact that condition of participation.  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has historically not enforced the condition of payment, but recently published guidance implying that the agency will enforce it going forward.  

CAHs typically maintain an annual average of 96 hours per patient, but some of the medical services they offer have lengths of stay greater than 96 hours per patient. For example, a Medicare beneficiary with pneumonia may wish to receive care from the local CAH and remain close to family and home rather than traveling further to an urban or regional prospective payment system hospital.    

“MHA appreciates Senators Klobuchar and Franken’s leadership on this issue,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO. “They recognize that if this condition of payment is enforced, it could create an access issue for rural beneficiaries. MHA strongly supports S. 2037 as a solution to this problem.”  

S. 2037 is a companion bill to the House version, H.R. 3991. MHA submitted a request to all of Minnesota’s congressional offices encouraging them to co-sponsor the bill. MHA members are encouraged to follow up with their representatives to voice support of this request and to thank the senators for their leadership.  

For more information, contact Ann Gibson, MHA vice president of federal relations and workforce, 651-603-3527. return to top  

DHS to address ICD-10 and Medicaid rates needs

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has identified a vendor to assist with the implementation of two very important and time-sensitive projects: ICD-10 conversion and inpatient Medicaid rates rebasing. ICD-10 is the new billing code standard that is to be used to describe inpatient medical interventions; the implementation date is Oct. 1, 2014. Since the current diagnosis-related group (DRG) payment methodology used by DHS to pay hospitals for inpatient services will be outdated and unable to accept the new coding standard, they also plan to convert the DRG payment method to a Medicare-like APR-DRG system.   

In the MHA Policy and Advocacy Committee meeting on Feb. 28, Julie Marquardt, director of health care purchasing at DHS, cited the need to make these conversions and to make the system more accurate, transparent and simplified. Since there is currently no additional funding available for the conversion, this process is expected to be completed on a budget-neutral basis. MHA has had some conversations with DHS, and has stressed the importance of informing hospitals of their intended changes. MHA will be hosting a finance meeting with DHS to learn more about the details of the changes on Friday, March 13.  

For more information, contact Joe Schindler, MHA vice president of finance, 651-659-1415. return to top  

MDH suspends ambulatory surgical center SQRMS requirements for 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) last week announced that it is suspending registration and quality measure reporting to the Minnesota Statewide Quality Reporting and Measurement System (SQRMS) for ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). ASCs have been required to annually register and report on three quality measures since 2011. According to MDH, nearly all ASCs have shown a similar level of high performance on the three quality measures during the reporting period, thus it is suspending the reporting requirements to reduce provider reporting burden. As a result, ASCs do not need to register with MNCM by April 1, 2014 or submit data to MNCM by August 15, 2014. This suspension only applies to SQRMS requirements for ASCs.  

During 2014, MDH will deliberate ASC registration and reporting requirements for 2015. MDH updates SQRMS registration and reporting requirements annually through the state rulemaking process and invites public feedback multiple times throughout the process, and the first comment period will open in April.

For more information on SQRMS, click here or contact MarkSonneborn, MHA vice president of information services, 651-659-1423. return to top  

Proposals sought for Minnesota Accountable Health Model e-Health Grant Program

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requests proposals for the Minnesota Accountable Health Model e-Health Grant Program. The grants are intended to support readiness to advance the Minnesota Accountable Health Model and to prepare for potential participation in accountable communities for health.  

Eligible applicants are community collaboratives that have at least two or more organizations participating in, or planning to participate in, an accountable care organization (ACO) or similar health care delivery model; or payment arrangements involving shared risk, shared savings or total cost of care. Community collaboratives must include a partner organization from at least one of the four priority settings of the Minnesota Accountable Health Model/SIM grant: local public health departments, long-term and post-acute care, behavioral health and social services.  

Non-binding letters of intent to respond are due on Thursday, March 27 and proposals are due Monday, May 5, 2014.  

Visit the Minnesota Accountable Health Model RFPs webpage for more information, or contact Anne Schloegel at MDH with questions. return to top  

Deadline extended for annual CEO, CFO and CNE salary survey

The deadline for submitting this year’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer and chief nurse executive online compensation surveys has been extended to Friday, March 7.   

The broader the survey participation base, the more representative the results. The survey results will highlight salary averages by budget size, years in health care, geographical region, and years in current positions.  

As always, the reported information will be kept confidential. Results will be reported in summary form only, with no individual responses identified. Please make sure to specify the email addresses the reports should be sent to at the end of the surveys. The reports will be sent to participants the beginning of May.  

Members were emailed information on how to confidentially complete the surveys on the MHA members-only website on Feb. 12.

If you have questions regarding the survey, contact Jonathan Peters, MHA director of data and finance policy, 651-659-1422. return to top  

Hospitals invited to Prescription Drug Abuse and Investigation Conference

Hospitals are invited to the 2014 Minnesota Chapter of National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) annual conference on April 25 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.  

The conference aims to provide an orientation to state resources and programs; introduce health care, law enforcement and pharmacy activity; and identify tools to support investigations. Specific topics to be covered include:

  • HIPAA – health care and law enforcement sharing information
  • Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)
  • Minnesota Restricted Recipient Program (MRRP)
  • Law enforcement criminal investigations
  • Investigating health care diversion

Click here to learn more or to register. return to top  

Member participation requested for AHA annual survey

MHA is coordinating the collection of the AHA annual survey of services, staffing, finances and electronic health record (EHR) implementation. The cover letter, survey, walkthrough and login/password were emailed to hospital CEOs on Feb.18. MHA encourages you to complete the survey. The AHA directory of hospitals is useful for identifying trends and the information is used for analysis in a variety of ways at the national level. The deadline is March 31. Please enter your survey information online here.

If you need login and password assistance, email Jenny Sanislo, MHA division assistant. return to top